Goat Herd Accepts Man As One Of Their Own

Technology grows in leaps and bounds each year but not everyone wants to be on the cutting edge. Some proudly hold on to their flip-phones in the face of Apple and Android. Vacations are now seen not only as an opportunity to relax, but also to “unplug.” And we’ve all got that relative who refuses to get on Facebook.

While developments in science and technology seem to be progressing with increasing momentum, some industry professionals are more interested in “de-evolving.” According to his website, 34-year-old conceptual designer and sci/tech researcher Thomas Thwaites is “currently investigating what it might be like to be a goat.”

Now, just to be clear, this is not another Boomer the Dog scenario, nor is this your usual sitting in the bushes, making behavioral observations type of investigation.  Thwaites had prosthetic limbs commissioned to allow him to walk on all fours like a goat. He looked into procuring an artificial rumen, or goat stomach capable of digesting grass, consulted with behavioral experts and observed a goat dissection. And thanks to a kind-hearted farmer, Thwaites was welcomed into a herd of goats in the Swiss Alps. With a helmet and prosthetics attached, he traveled with the herd for three days (as much as he could keep up), and spent another three days herd-less, as a single goat.

The stunning photographs above, captured by photographer Tim Bowditch, show Thwaites doing everything a typical goat does – walking, climbing, kneeling, grazing, enjoying the majestic scenery from atop an Alp. Though he wasn’t used to the new form of motility, and was consequently left behind by the herd when he couldn’t keep up, he managed to find his way back eventually and the observing farmers said that the goats seemed to accept him as one of their own.

So, why be a goat? Thwaites was looking for authenticity; an experience as a creature free from the external worries and regrets of the human condition. “Post humanism, transhumanism technology and stuff, is about allowing humans to achieve their desires in a way. And I guess [some people’s] desires aren’t necessarily to become super intelligent” Thwaites told Motherboard.

He’s not alone in imagining a life with goats. Pepto-Bismol came out with this heartfelt short earlier this year:

Though we know that goats don’t realistically make the best parents, they certainly are a delightful bunch to observe. Despite the simplistic existence that attracted Thwaites, goats are also very curious and quite intelligent. They live in complex social groups and excel at agility, problem-solving and retaining long-term memory. Oh and they’re also really entertaining.

If you think internet cat videos are great, get ready to discover the world wide web of goats.

I mean, come on.

Thwaites’ book about his experience, GoatMan: How I Took A Holiday From Being Human, comes out in 2016 and is currently available for pre-order. London’s Studio1.1 Gallery will host an exhibition of photographs and other materials from Thwaites’ goat project from September 3rd-17th. Also check out Thwaites’ other book, The Toaster Project, where he attempts to build a simple appliance ‘from scratch.’

Don’t be afraid to stray from the herd, Froggies. Even if it’s just because you can’t quite keep up on your new prosthetic goat legs.